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US retreat instigated the toppling of Afghan Army: Report

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Kabul | May 18, 2022 10:24:51 PM IST
The fall of the former Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) after the Taliban came to power by seizing Afghanistan has been attributed to the withdrawal of the US forces and military contractors as mentioned in a special report issued by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

According to the SIGAR report, the retreat of the US military personnel accompanied by the military forces is "the single most important factor" in the toppling of the ANDSF, reported Al Jazeera.

Further, the report also mentioned that the decisions made by former US President Donald Trump as well as the incumbent President Joe Biden have all added to the collapse of the Afghan army in the previous year of August, resulting in the Taliban's conquer of Afghanistan.

The agreement made between the US and the Taliban where Washington gave a nod to withdraw military forces from Afghanistan also led to the disintegration of ANDSF. There was "a sense of abandonment within the ANDSF and the Afghan population" when the US decided to reduce the amount of US air raids, which made the ANDSF unable to keep the Taliban at bay, reported Al Jazeera.

"We built that army to run on contractor support. Without it, it can't function. When the contractors pulled out, it was like we pulled all the sticks out of the Jenga pile and expected it to stay up." said one former US commander in Afghanistan. Another former Afghan general said that about 60 per cent of Black Hawk helicopters were grounded after the US withdrawal of contractors.

Current US President Biden also decided to withdraw American troops when the Taliban threatened on resuming attacks on the US and the Nato forces, reported Al Jazeera. "For ANDSF forces already physically isolated, facing supply shortages, and weathering aggressive Taliban propaganda efforts aimed at demoralizing them, paranoia ... exacerbated an already challenging environment," the SIGAR stated in the report.

However, the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development refrained from commenting on the report issued by SIGAR.

Earlier, the situation in Afghanistan has been deteriorating after the Taliban seized control of the war-ravaged country. On August 15, the Afghan government fell soon after President Ashraf Ghani left the country and on August 31, the US completed the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan under the Doha accord it signed with the Taliban last year, marking the end of a chaotic and messy exit from America's longest war. (ANI)

 
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